Even if the Fed launched a third round of bond purchases, few think that further lowering long-term rates would provide much benefit to the U.S. economy. Most businesses and consumers who aren't borrowing now aren't likely to change their minds if rates slipped a bit more.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note is already just above its record low of 1.39 percent, which it touched last week. The national average rate for a new-car loan barely tops 3 percent. And the average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below 3.5 percent last week for the first time on records dating back 60 years.
Some regional Fed bank presidents have expressed concern that expanding the Fed's investment portfolio beyond its current record $2.9 trillion to try to lower rates more would heighten the risk of high inflation later.
Some analysts have also suggested that the Fed might be reluctant to act aggressively as the November election nears, out of concern it could be seen as affecting the vote.
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